Mini-jeux, Kinder Surprise, Big Jim and the end of the LEGO-Shell love affair

Mini-Jeux are mechanical games based on the Japanese Tomy hand-held games.

In the UK these were marketed as ‘Pocketeers’ by the Palitoy company. See TVTA’s post POCKETEERS

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.


100 new surprises… more beautiful than ever.

1978 Kinder Surprise ad from France. More Kinder Surprise here

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.


Big Jim helicopter. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.


LEGO Sea stuff.

Lego used to have a corporate deal going with the Shell oil company. For years the Shell logo appeared on numerous brick products like tankers, petrol stations and oil rigs – until recently (2014) when Lego finally cut its ties with the oil giant following a sustained capaign by Greenpeace

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.


 

POCKETEERS… mechanical handheld retro gaming

Pocketeers mechanical games were produced by the Palitoy company in the UK from 1975. Based on the original Japanese Tomy Pocket Games, each Pocketeer was a themed puzzle or challenge contained within a sturdy plastic shell. Looking back, these pocket-size fun games were rather like mechanical precursors to electronic handheld games like the Gameboy. At our school, Pocketeers were popular because of the “3 Ts” – portability, collectability and swappability.

Palitoy Pocketeers

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1979.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1979.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1979.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1979.

UK. Marvel Comics #339. 1979.

UK. Marvel Comics #339. 1979.

UK. Marvel Comic April 1979.

UK. Marvel Comic April 1979.


In France the games were known collectively as Mini-jeux and were distributed by the famous Meccano company.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Castors Juniors. 1979.

France. Castors Juniors. 1979.


This 1982 German ad shows the Tomy license. The ad below also shows Tomy’s ‘Funny Bowling’ game.

Germany. 1982.